Mommy Makeover: All You Need To Know
A “mommy makeover” is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of procedures that address issues related to pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. A mommy makeover combines body contouring, breast augmentation or lift, vaginal rejuvenation, and other treatments to help you get back to your pre-pregnancy appearance.
Physical changes to the body sometimes linger long after pregnancy such as loose skin in the abdomen and vaginal laxity. These issues can be a cause of diminished self-esteem and sometimes even cause pain and discomfort.
A mommy makeover can include many different procedures and every treatment path is unique to the patient. Below, we will provide a brief overview of the most common options to consider and what to expect overall.
Who Is A Good Candidate For A Mommy Makeover?
It can be difficult to regain your pre-pregnancy appearance even with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Certain issues – like loss of skin elasticity – often require cosmetic surgery to treat.
However, not everyone is a good candidate for a mommy makeover. Before treatment, you need a full physical examination to ensure you are in good health. You should also be near your ideal weight before a mommy makeover.
You should only undergo a mommy makeover if you are done having children. Becoming pregnant after a mommy makeover can undo a lot of your results.
What Is Included In A Mommy Makeover?
There is no one-size-fits-all option for restoring your pre-pregnancy body. During your consultation, you will discuss your goals and expectations. Your surgeon will make recommendations based on your specific needs.
Mommy makeovers can typically include procedures to improve the breasts, the stomach, the buttocks, and the vaginal muscles.
A breast lift is a procedure in which your surgeon repositions your nipples higher on your chest wall, removes excess skin, and tightens surrounding tissues. This helps contour your breasts and reduces sagging due to breastfeeding. However, a breast lift will not significantly change the size of your breasts.
A breast lift is performed under general anesthesia. To start, your surgeon makes an incision around the areola. Your surgeon then lifts the underlying breast tissue, repositions the nipple and areola, and removes excess skin.
Breast augmentation can include either fat grafting or breast implants.
During fat grafting, your surgeon harvests fat from another area of the body such as the stomach or thighs. The fat is then purified and redistributed into the breasts via a cannula inserted through the skin. This can both increase the size of your breast and reduce issues like sagging or drooping.
Breast implants are silicone or saline-based implants. Your surgeon will insert your implants via incisions either under the pectoralis muscle or directly behind the breast tissue.
Breast implants yield more dramatic results than fat grafting, but fat grafting has a shorter recovery time. Some women also find the results from fat grafting look and feel more natural.
Also called “gluteal augmentation,” buttock augmentation improves the size and shape of the buttocks by increasing fullness and balancing out your figure. Buttock augmentation is an umbrella term that typically refers to either buttock implants, fat grafting, or a buttock lift.
During buttock implant augmentation, your surgeon inserts silicone implants either in or above the gluteal muscle. This can dramatically alter the shape and size of your buttocks, but comes with a lengthier recovery time than other options.
Fat grafting to the buttocks is analogous to fat grafting to the breasts. Your surgeon harvests fat from other areas of the body via liposuction, purifies that fat, and injects it into the buttocks. This contours and reshapes your buttocks, and can look and feel very natural. It can be limited by the amount of donor fat that is available, for grafting.
A buttock lift does not add volume to the buttocks, but it removes excess skin and fat to create a more toned look. It is somewhat similar to a breast lift and is a good option for women only seeking minor enhancements. The negative is that it requires incisions which will leave lasting scars.
Weight gained during pregnancy can sometimes hang on despite diet and exercise. Liposuction can be performed as part of a mommy makeover. The procedure works for women at a healthy weight looking to remove stubborn fat deposits.
Liposuction can be performed under general or local anesthesia. Your surgeon makes a small incision and suctions out fat using a thin, hollow tube called a cannula.
A common post-pregnancy issue is sagging skin around the abdomen, which can be addressed with a tummy tuck. Like liposuction, a tummy tuck is designed for women already at a healthy weight and is not considered weight loss surgery.
A tummy tuck can be performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Your surgeon makes a horizontal incision between the pubic hairline and belly button. Sometimes, a second incision in the navel is also needed.
Once the incision is complete, your surgeon removes excess skin and tightens the underlying muscles. The result is a flatter and more toned stomach and a significant reduction in sagging skin.
Common vaginal procedures after childbirth include labiaplasty, and vaginal rejuvenation with energy technologies.
A labiaplasty refers to the trimming of excess labia minora which can be physically bothersome and/or aesthetically displeasing. Tissue can be removed in a number of ways that achieve an appearance that is desired.
Vaginal rejuvenation is a broad term referring to a variety of procedures meant to improve the appearance and function of the vagina. Various energy technologies including CO2 and RF can be used to tighten the vaginal canal and reduce the incidents of incontinence that can be caused by childbirth or age.
How Long Is Recovery From A Mommy Makeover?
As a mommy makeover can include a wide variety of treatments, it is hard to make blanket statements about recovery.
Recovery typically takes at least two weeks, but often up to six weeks before resuming full normal activity. During this time, you may be on pain medications that inhibit your ability to drive. Your surgeon may also request you refrain from activities like heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for a set time period.
While you should be able to resume regular activities within a few weeks, swelling often lasts for six months or longer. This means it may take some time to see your final results, so be patient.
The best way to determine your timeline for recovery is to talk to your surgeon. They can give you more precise information based on the exact procedures you underwent.
What Are The Potential Risks?
Like recovery, potential risks are largely dependent on the specifics of your mommy makeover.
Different procedures come with different risk factors. Common risk factors with most surgeries include bleeding, infection, blood clots, and significant scarring.
Have a detailed conversation with your surgeon about your personal risk factors before undergoing a mommy makeover. This way, you know what to watch out for during recovery and when to seek medical attention.
Mild issues such as pain and swelling will usually resolve on their own, but more serious complications – like infections – may require medical attention. Issues like asymmetrical breasts, skin discoloration, and scarring sometimes require follow-up treatment.
The best way to avoid risks is to work with a reputable surgeon and follow all aftercare instructions closely.
Mommy Makeover: The Bottom Line
A mommy makeover can restore lost confidence by bringing your body back to its pre-pregnancy state. It can also help with issues such as discomfort and chronic pain that result from pregnancy, breastfeeding, or childbirth. If you are interested in a mommy makeover, the best way to get started is to book a consultation with a plastic surgeon to go over your options.
Interested in learning more? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering a mommy makeover, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.